A smoky elevator generator fire at a downtown Manchester (N.H.) high-rise office and professional building caused the evacuation of 18 kidney dialysis patients and dozens of employees in the 12-story building.
According to a news report published by the New Hampshire Union Leader, the incident was reported at about 8:45 a.m. as 18 patients were receiving dialysis treatments at the Manchester Kidney Center and were forced to evacuate to the outside of the building and endure arctic temperatures for nearly 30 minutes.
Two ambulances and city buses were summoned to help with the evacuated patients, but by the time the bus arrived, building was deemed safe and all were allowed to go back into the building.
Upon the initial arrival, firefighters found the first four floors of an attached wing to the tower had smoke conditions, according to a photographer who went to the scene. A second alarm was quickly struck, not because of the size of the fire, but the number of people and the complexity of the building and the people who needed services.
Firefighters located the source of the smoke in a three-foot by six-foot elevator generator area. It was quickly extinguished and firefighters ventilated the building which had smoke throughout picked up by the building’s air conditioning system.
Once the smoke had cleared, the office workers were allowed back into both the tower and the four-story wing, according to the paper. Many had to walk up stairs to return to work as the elevators were temporarily out of service.
The dialysis patients were returned to the center on the first floor without further incident.
Soon after, elevator service was restored to all but the one where the fire started.